Protesters get bullets in Pampore
10 Injured; Hurriyat March Foiled; 23 Wounded In Kreeri Clashes
GOWHAR BHAT/KHALID GUL
Srinagar, Aug 11: Government imposed a strict curfew on Wednesday and foiled the march to Pampore called by Hurriyat Conference (G) to observe the second death anniversary of pro-freedom leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz. At least 10 persons were injured, three of them grievously, when paramilitary troops and police resorted to indiscriminate firing on a peaceful procession near Pampore.
Police and paramilitary troops blocked all roads in the summer capital and the Srinagar-Jammu highway at several places to check the pedestrian and vehicular movement to Pampore town.
However, in Pampore town, eyewitnesses said people of Kuanibal area came out on the streets late in the evening and staged peaceful pro-freedom demonstrations. “Without any provocation, police and CRPF men resorted to tear gas shelling and then fired indiscriminately on the procession injuring at least 10 persons,” eyewitnesses said.
The condition of three injured, who sustained bullet injuries above the waist, was stated to be critical. The injured were admitted in Sub-district hospital Pampore.
One of them was shifted to SMHS Hospital here a critical condition. Doctors identified him as Tariq Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Bhat of Kaunibal Pampore. Doctors said he had a firearm injury at right side of his neck.
The Pampore town was turned into a garrison as police and paramilitary troopers were deployed in every lane and by-lane of the town. The Rapid Action Force (RAF) was also seen deployed in many areas of the town. Police blocked all the major entry points of the town by erecting barricades and laying concertina and razor wires at several places in Galandar, Frastibal, Drangabal and Kadalbal. The link roads leading to Khonmoh, Khrew, Zewan, Lethpora, Kakpora and Samboora were also blocked. In several peripheral areas of the town and Pulwama including Samboora, Frislabal, Kakpora and Rajpora people defied curfew restrictions and tried to march ahead but police and CRPF men used force and dispersed the protesters. Several people sustained injuries when the forces resorted to heavy tear gas shelling at Fristibal, Samboora and Rajpora.
In Kakpora people had arranged vehicles as thousands of people came out and tried to march towards Pampore but were intercepted by the police and CRPF men. The forces also fired several rounds in the air at many places. However, people staged mid-day prayers on the roads at various places and raised pro-freedom and ‘Go India Go’ slogans. People of Kuniwan alleged that the CRPF men barged into several houses and beat up the inmates including women and children.
Strict curfew was also imposed in Pulwama, Awantipora and Tral towns with reports of late evening clashes.
Curfew was also strictly enforced in Shopian town. However, reports of protest demonstrations were received from the adjoining areas. Massive pro-freedom protests were also organized in Wachi area also.
Curfew was strictly enforced in Kulgam and Qaimoh townships of Kulgam district amid reports of violent clashes between the protesters and the police. Reports of protests were also received from Khudwani, Redwani, Yaripora and Frisal areas of the district. Massive pro-freedom demonstrations were also held at Sangam and its adjoining areas. At Sangam on Srinagar-Jammu highway, army troopers intercepted 12 buses in which people from nearby areas tried to march towards Pampore. They were let-off in the evening.
Curfew was also clamped in Islamabad town while in Bijbehara strict restrictions were enforced. Police had also erected barricades at many places to prevent people from marching towards Pampore. Despite restrictions people at many places of the civilian area of Khanabal-Pahalgam road like Khanabal, Naibasti and old Qazibagh offered mid-day and evening congregational prayers on roads.
The prayers were followed by pro-freedom and ‘Go India Go’ slogans. Later in the evening when the deployment was reduced youth took to streets at many places in old town areas like Malakhnag, Cheeni Chowk, Reshi Bazar and Lal Chowk and fought pitched battles with police and CRPF. The forces retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters and firing dozens of rounds of live ammunition to scare away the protesters.
Doctors and paramedical staff of the Maternity and Pediatric Hospital near Sherbagh Islamabad have alleged that as the police and CRPF men start moving towards their camps in the evening they pelt stones into the hospital premises creating chaos.
Later in the evening, after protests subsided, police and CRPF ransacked residential houses in Laizbal, Bakshiabad, Kadipora areas of the Islamabad town.
After evening prayers, hundreds of people holding candles in their hands and raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans marched on KP Road.
In downtown Srinagar, police and CRPF was deployed in large numbers who restricted people to their homes.
In several areas including Buchpora and Illahi Bagh, people came out on roads in large numbers and offered congregational prayers on roads. They raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans after prayers.
ALTAF BABA ADDS FROM NORTH KASHMIR:
About 23 people were injured, one of them sustaining a rubber bullet injury, at Kreeri here when a protest march from Palhalan intending to participate in the funeral procession of Syed Farukh Bukhari of Kreeri was stopped by police.
Witnesses said when the protesters reached near Kreeri, they were intercepted by the police which lead to the clashes between the police and the protesters. Police fired several tear smoke shells and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
In the ensuing clashes, 23 people were injured. One of the youth had a rubber bullet injury and he was shifted to Sub-district hospital Pattan.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Varmul town and its peripheries on Wednesday as per the Hurriyat programme. All the bridges connecting the old town with the civil lines areas were closed and loops of barbed wire were erected by the police to prevent the people of the old town to cross over.
In Handwara and Kupwara towns, people staged sit-ins and held massive protests against arrest of youths on charges of stone-pelting and protests.
Protesters in Kulangam, Chowgal, Tootigund, Wudhpora, Haran and Braripora held sit-ins and blocked the Sopur-Kupwara Road today raising pro-freedom slogans when police arrested at least 15 youth on charges of stone pelting.
Earlier police resorted to baton charge to disperse the protestors who were marching towards Kupwara. Police later bundled at least 15 protesting youth of Kulangam, Chowgal and other adjoining areas into their vehicles and took them to Kupwara.
At the time of filing of this report protests and sit-ins were continuing in Kulangam and Chowgal areas.
In Kupwara, Trehgam, Kralpora Lolab, Handwara and Langate areas complete shutdown was observed.
SSP Kupwara, V.K Birdhi, told Greater Kashmir 15 youth have been arrested who were found ‘involved in stone pelting and blocking roads.’ “We have lodged an FIR vide No. 129/10 dated 11-8-2010 under Sections 148, 332, 341, 336 against the stone pelters,” he said.
Police yesterday arrested four persons including a Lecturer from Kupwara town and Anwarabad and Sulkoot on charges of stone-pelting which triggered massive protests in the area.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 11 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 11 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 12 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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